Stay at Home Order Lifted: Update from Griffin Alexander, Attorneys at Law

June 12, 2020

Executive Order No. 152
Stay-at-Home Order Lifted

On Tuesday June 9, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 152. This executive order lifts the state’s stay-at-home order and relaxes the restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings, which were established by Executive Order No. 107, on March 21, 2020.

“With more and more of our businesses reopening, we are no longer requiring you to stay at home,” said Murphy. “But, we are asking you to continue to be responsible and safe.”

Recognizing both that the rate of community spread of COVID-19 has been decreasing and also that limits on gatherings have contributed to that progress, Executive Order No. 152 took effect immediately. The relaxed restrictions allow for indoor gatherings, including religious services, to resume operation at 25% of a building’s capacity or up to 50 people, whichever is lower. However, everyone is still required to maintain social distancing, by staying at least six feet apart, and wearing a mask. With exceptions granted where doing so would inhibit the individual’s health or where the individual is under two years of age. Individuals organizing or maintaining the gathering should, where applicable, demarcate six feet of spacing in the area of the gathering to demonstrate appropriate spacing for social distancing. A few examples of these demarcations are through the placement of cones, flags, or other markings. Any physical items may not be shared by multiple attendees of the same gathering except for immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners, unless the items are sanitized before and after use. Additionally, if the gathering requires pre-payment, or seeks donations of any kind, contactless options for pre-payment or donations must be offered wherever feasible.

The restrictions on outdoor gatherings within the State have also been relaxed by Executive Order No. 152, with the restrictions applying to both public and private property. The limit on outdoor gatherings has been increased from 25 people to 100, with the exception of allowing more individuals at “First Amendment protected” actives, such as political protest and religious services. Authorized gatherings are to be permitted at State Parks and Forests, county and municipal parks, public and private beaches, boardwalks, lakes and lakeshores. However, counties and municipalities may impose additional restrictions at county and municipal parks, consistent with Executive Order Nos. 108, 133 and 148 (2020). Under Order 152, all attendees are required to maintain social distancing by maintain a distance of six feet from other attendees at all times, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners. The requirement of a contactless payment options must be offered wherever feasible as well.

It is expected that the limit on non-protest and non-religious activities will increase even further on June 22, 2020, allowing up to 250 people and even further on July 3, 2020, allowing up to 500 people. “Please continue to be responsible and safe… Wear face coverings and keep a social distance from others when out in public,” urged Gov. Murphy. “We cannot move through Stage 2 and into Stage 3, and beyond, unless we continue to see the numbers trending downward. We cannot become complacent or irresponsible.”

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